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Salt Lake City Criminal Defense Law Blog

AICPA reports increase in fraud and other types of 'cybercrime'

The internet has exploded into an online world where millions of dollars in business is conducted daily. With all business comes the possibility for fraud or accounting errors that could be prosecuted as a type of white collar crime. Recently, the American Institute of CPA's, or AICPA, has been tracking online business and fraud. The group's data shows an increase in types of white collar cybercrimes that cost U.S. business' billions of dollars annually.

The top 5 cybercrimes as reported by the AICPA are:

Do the majority of Utah voters favor use of medical marijuana?

With the media abuzz about the medical legalization of marijuana in some states, it's interesting to see if the public's opinion is on track with the evolving legislation. To be clear, the legalization of marijuana is for medicinal purposes only. This means that it requires a prescription from your doctor that is ordered to treat symptoms one may have. If you are caught with marijuana without a medical prescription, in Utah, you could face misdemeanor charges.

A recent poll was conducted by Utah's Libertas Institute. The poll was administered by an automated phone system to 500 random Utah residents. The sampling error is plus or minus 4.38%. According to the poll, Utah residents do support the legalization of marijuana for medicinal purposes.

What to know about drug trafficking and penalties in Utah

When it comes to illicit drugs there are some things to know if you or someone you know are facing drug-related charges. First, there is a big difference between drug possession and drug trafficking charges. If accused of either of these crimes, there will be significant differences in the type of charges brought and the possible penalties associated with them. One thing is certain: drug trafficking crimes have harsher penalties than drug possession.

Drug trafficking is a felony crime. It includes the sale, transport and distribution of unlawful controlled substances. Controlled substances include methamphetamine, marijuana and cocaine just to name a few. Drug trafficking also applies to the illegal distribution of prescription drugs. If convicted of drug trafficking, the sentences generally range from a few years to life in prison.

Felony charges filed against Utah man after July shootout

Oftentimes when a less serious crime is committed, more serious crimes sometimes follow the initial crime. Just because a person accused of a crime has made one mistake doesn't mean they automatically can be convicted of an entirely different crime.

Take, for instance, a Utah man has been accused of felony crimes after a July shootout with police. The shootout occurred during a 20-minute car chase through Salt Lake City and the surrounding suburbs.

Avoiding Utah's Sex Offender Registry

Once an offender has been convicted of a crime related to sexual assault there are several consequences. A few possible penalties could be jail time, fines, or public humiliation to name a few. There is one penalty few may think of that comes with a conviction for the attempt, solicitation or conspiring to commit a crime related to sexual assault. That penalty is an offender's name on Utah's Sex Offender Registry.

There are several crimes that could render one's name subject to the dreaded Sex Offender Registry. The obvious crimes like rape and child kidnapping are the crimes most think of when they think of offenders on the registry. However there are a few crimes that if convicted could also land a person's name on the registry. For example, if a person was convicted of aggravated exploitation of prostitution -- their name will appear on the registry. One exception to the registry is if a parent of a child was convicted of kidnapping -- their name will not appear on the registry.

What is the difference between a capital and non-capital offense?

When charged with a felony crime, there can be a number of questions that arise. All the legal jargon can be confusing and make it hard to know where to begin. A great place to start is learning the difference between a capital and non-capital offense. In the state of Utah, it is especially important that a person charged with a felony crime know whether the crime is prosecuted as a capital or non-capital offense.

A capital offense is an offense where a conviction can lead to the death penalty. Utah is one of only a few states that still use the death penalty as a form of punishment for those convicted of capital offenses.

Three Utah residents arrested after assault

Sometimes arguments and disagreements can get out of hand. The Unified Police Department was called to the scene of a disagreement that got out of hand last week. It is always best to settle differences without using violence. That wasn't the case at a Magna home where three were arrested, and one person is sought for charges of aggravated assault.

Two men are in critical condition after four people stabbed and assaulted them in front of a Magna home. The UPD classify the two male's health as improving. The altercation occurred when the two victims pulled into the driveway of the home. They questioned the people outside why they were there and it escalated quickly to violence with the two men being stabbed multiple times.

Understanding Fraud

When people think of criminals they often think of shady characters lurking in the night. Many would never envision a business man in an office somewhere. This is the reality of fraud, one of the most common business crimes. Fraud is the act of misrepresentation in order to make a financial gain. Fraud is usually classified as a felony crime but Utah has its own state statutes governing and defining fraud.

Types of fraud are classified by how the person is defrauded. Fraud can occur by phone, mail, wire transfer or internet. There are several types such as identity theft, wire fraud, telemarketing fraud and mail fraud. The specific charges associated with these types of crimes vary and are governed by Utah law.

Utah Highway Patrol find pot, proof of forgery -- 2 arrested

Routine traffic stops by police often reveal evidence of crimes other than why a suspect was pulled over. If an officer of the law has probable cause the officer may search the vehicle and any persons in question. Such was the case last week when a woman was pulled over by Utah Highway Patrol for a lane travel violation. After a search of the vehicle, the officer allegedly discovered marijuana and drug paraphernalia along with several instances of forgery.

According to the officer when he approached the vehicle he claimed that he could smell both raw and burnt marijuana coming from the car. When he asked the two women in the vehicle for identification one woman's driver's license was expired and the other claimed she had never obtained one. The vehicle was rented to another person who wasn't present. The trooper then searched the vehicle where he allegedly discovered marijuana, drug paraphernalia and 163 fake American Express money orders each for $100 each.

What is the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony?

When accused of a crime it can be hard for most people to understand what is going on. A great place to start is understanding the basics about how charges are classified. There are levels within the court system that help to classify how serious a crime is. The types of crimes and the penalties at each level vary from state to state. However all states, including Utah, have three basic levels of offenses.

The first is called an infraction and it is the least serious of the three classifications. Infractions include parking tickets. The police see you do something wrong and hand you a ticket with instructions to pay a fine or how to set up a court date and contest the infraction.

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